Central Alberta MLA and environment minister Jason Nixon lashed out at an “insane” federal climate plan released by the Liberal government.
In an email sent to the Advocate on Monday, Nixon said his government “will not accept any federal plan on reducing emissions that will hit Canadians’ pocketbooks any further” — especially when it’s costing over $2 per litre to fill up and many people are struggling to heat their homes.
Instead of reducing emissions with an investment in new technology, the federal coalition is seeking to reduce economic activity, said Nixon. The Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA is critical of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps to Clean Air and a Strong Economy, released March 29 by the federal government.
Nixon contends that lessening Canada’s oil and gas production would just boost the economies of countries “with the worst environmental records.”
As long as the world needs more oil and gas, Nixon said the Alberta government is not interested in a transition from jobs in the energy sector.
He estimated the federal plan would result in a $1.3 billion loss for Alberta if production cuts are reduced by 10 per cent. “Make no mistake: the Liberal-NDP Coalition’s insane emissions plan will …make life unaffordable not just for Albertans, but for all Canadians.”
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the $9.1 billion plan that seeks to cut emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Oil and gas emissions would be capped and methane emissions reduced by at least 75 per cent by 2030. The plan includes a projected contribution for the oil and gas sector of a 31 per cent reduction from 2005 levels. This is equivalent to 42 per cent from 2019 levels.
The federal government also promised to invest in more electric vehicle charging stations, more carbon capture and storage programs for industry, clean energy wind and solar projects, sustainable farm programs, and energy-efficient building standards.
But some environmental groups are calling this ambitious emissions reduction plan unachievable.
A report by Environmental Defence, Buyer Beware: Fossil Fuels Subsidies and Carbon Capture Fairy Tales in Canada, indicates that carbon capture technology has been around for 30 years and has only captured minuscule amounts of carbon — some 0.05 per cent annually.
Meanwhile, federal and provincial governments have spent about $5.8 billion since 2000 for these technology-heavy capture programs.
The Environmental Defence group wants no more government support for the oil and gas industry — saying this topped $18 billion in 2020 and $8.6 billion in 2021.
“We need (the hydrocarbon industry) to be winding down in order to avoid catastrophic levels of warming,” states the document, which mentions the erratic climate Canada has already experienced — including heat domes, atmospheric rivers, wildfires and floods.